Welcome back to 5th part of the History of Spanish Poker Tour. This is the season that has just finished in Barcelona. Like last year, it featured 4 amazing events in Madrid, Valencia, Pokerstars Marbella Festival and Barcelona.
ESPT 5 Madrid (2014)
A spectacular 5-day festival at Casino Gran Madrid opened ESPT Season 5. It featured 9 events including €2,000 +200 High Roller and €1,000 +100 Main Event.
- Events – 9
- Running – January 23-27, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 632
- Main Event (in the money) – 72
- Prizepool – €606,720
Even though official schedule says that the festival ran for 5 days, February 5 to 9, the poker festival actually started a day ago with a €200 Win the Button event. Juan Dominguez was the one to win this one (he also finished 2nd to Thomas Dunwoodie in the same event last year in Pokerstars Marbella Festival).
Then, it was time for the Main Event that again was significantly bigger than the event last year. This year there were 721 entries generating a prizepool of €692,160. Overall, 103 players shared the prizepool.
The final table was led by Spanish players but there was also an international presence. There were five international players at the final table: Sergey Rodin from Russia, Christopher Brown from Switzerland, Nuno Capucho from Portugal, Rajmond Stabbekoom from Netherlands and probably the most experienced player at the final table, Heinz Traut from Germany.
It was an exciting final table with a deal that was agreed upon three handed. As you can see below, Victor Antoranz sealed the win that was only second cash in his career (the first was for €600 in 2010). This time he took home slightly more – €97,363.
Here are the Top 15 payouts of the ESPT Madrid:
ESPT 5 Valencia (2014)
Has ESPT Valencia reached its limit? Maybe not, but for the first time an ESPT event has shrunk in a year. Nevertheless, it was still an amazing poker festival.
- Events – 8
- Running – April 3-7, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 483
- Main Event (in the money) – 56
- Prizepool – €463,680
ESPT 5 Valencia ran for 5 days, April 2-6 and featured 8 events. Again, the festival started with a €150 Win the Button event with 68 entries. The amazing thing was it was won by an ESPT regular, Swede Michael Bartov who actually won another event the next day, €150+ 15 No Limit Holdem with 73 entries and finished 3rd in the €250 +25 PLO Double Chance the day after that. An impressive run, right?
€1,000 +100 ESPT 5 Valencia Main Event kicked off on April 2 with 414 players from 30 countries. They generated a prizepool of €397,440 with 55 players sharing it.
Final table was a diverse one, to say the least. Most players like Vicente Sierra, Haritz Doyharzábal, Amir Farhangi, Benjamin Garcia, Pedro Raventos and Raul Alonso were guaranteed to make their first live cash. Others, like Fabio Sperling, Jordi Alfonso and Jose Martinez were experienced players with final table finishes under their belts.
And as you would expect, experience prevailed. Two most experienced Fabio Sperling and Jordi Alfonso reached heads-up stage with the German player finishing on top. Sperling took the tile and €77,000 for his efforts while Alfonso also won a career-high €48,800.
Here are the Top 15 payouts of the event:
All in all, it was another fantastic poker festival from Pokerstars. But the fact that is shrank will probably require some amendments in strategy and planning, though. What will be result of that we are yet to see next year, in ESPT6 Valencia.
Pokerstars Marbella Festival
ESPT Valencia was not the only event that saw a reduction in player pool. A joint-festival between UKIPT and ESPT in Marbella also saw a decrease in attendance. However, a tiny one. The festival ran June 9-15, 2014.
- Events – 8
- Running – June 12-16, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 750
- Main Event (in the money) – 88
- Prizepool – €732,480
Not to worry. The actual attendance decrease was pretty minor. For example, the difference in Main Event attendance was only 13. And all the events stayed the same including Win the Button that kicked off the festival, €2,000 +200 High Roller, €300 Marbella Poker Cup and 5 others.
€1,000 +100 UKIPT/ESPT Main Event attracted 750 players that generated a massive €750,000 prizepool. 111 of them finished in the money with €136,000 up top.
The final table of the festival was truly spectacular. It was international (5 countries represented) and included some big names like Sam Grafton and Jake Cody, both well-known online and live.
Unfortunately for the pros, they were first to be eliminated while Spain’s Rodrigo Espinosa and Germany’s Christian Bauer reached the top. Bauer has had dozens of cashes but never won while Espinosa had only cashed 3 times in his career but has won a live tournament before, Partouche Poker Million €500 +50. This time luck was not on Bauer’s side and in the end it was Espinosa who was lifting his second career trophy.
Here are the Top 15 payouts of the event:
ESPT 5 Barcelona
And finally, the last event of the ESPT season came back to Barcelona. A combined ESPT/EPT festival was held August 16-21, 2014 and just like you would expect, broke the attendance records again.
- Events – 31
- Running – August 16-21, 2014
- Main Event attendance – 2,560
- Main Event (in the money) – 383
- Prizepool – €2,483,200
The festival that featured 31 events in total kicked off with €1,000 +100 Estrellas Main Event. For the first time in ESPT history the prizepool exceeded €2 million and the Main Event player pool exceeded 2,000 players. No wonder it’s the tournament everyone is waiting for.
The whole tournament was full of surprises, but the final table was nothing less than remarkable. First, there were two very well-known players at the final table – Simon Hemsworth and Andrew Chen. Hemsworht came 4th in chips but saw no luck and was the first to be eliminated.
Next it was time to go for another mid-stacks Bela Toth from Hungary and Spain’s last hope, Daniel Barriocanal that came 3rd in chips. Andrew Chen’s final table was a bumpy one but he managed to outlast 3 players that had more chips than him coming to the final table. But he lost a flip, As10s vs. Donchev’s pocket 2’s and was sent to the rail. After Corinne Bauche, the only final table lady busted in a similar fashion next, AsJd vs. Ruzzi’s pocket 4’s, players decided to make a 4-handed deal that resulted in Donchev locking the lion’s share of the remaining prize with €20,000 left for the eventual winner Ruzzi (after the deal, he was guaranteed €178,550). For Argentinian it was a career-high cash and his first ever career win even though he had already accumulated around $500,000 in live cashes.
Here are the final top 15 payouts of the event:
We hope you enjoyed our ESPT History article series so far. Soon, ESPT season 6 will kick off and as soon as it does, we will be there to give you all the most exciting stories.